Mixed feelings, yesterday, trailed the announcement of November 30, 2019 as proposed date for elections into the 23 local government areas of Benue State.
Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this while swearing in board members of the state’s Local Government Service Commission (LGSC).
But the leading opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the time of this report had not yet commented on the development.
State secretary of APC, James Ornguga, said, “stakeholders are yet to meet and come out with a position on the proposed election.”
However, the State Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Paul Salem, expressed optimism that his party would win majority seats in the council poll.
“We have people who have indicated interest already to contest in the council polls. We are fully ready as a party to participate in the exercise,” the APGA chairman said.
On his part, president of Next Generation Youth Initiative International (NeGYII), Ambassador Johnson Onoja, said it was worrisome that local government elections across the country had been conducted in shoddy manner, such that governors just handpicked their loyalists and planted them in the councils.
Onoja, however, urged that the coming council elections in the state be given all the fairness necessary by the state’s electoral body so that people at the grassroots can elect leaders of their choice.
Earlier, Governor Ortom had said preparation for the elections would begin immediately as the body saddled with the responsibility will also work in earnest to ensure a credible exercise.
The governor said the financial formula of 40 percent state contribution and 60 percent contribution at local government level would be strictly adhered to in funding the polls.
“On November 30, we will be conducting local government elections. We will begin to make preparation from now,” he said.
Ortom therefore charged the new board chairman, Dr Bem Melladu and the members to handle highly sensitive matters of the commission which include appointments, promotions and disciplines with all sense of responsibility.